Page 4036 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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Work is underway in the ACT government to develop systems for estimating the cost per tonne of abatement. This will provide useful information for assessing potential options. There are many different factors to consider in weighing up policy and program options. The cost of abatement is one of these but there are many others such as social impacts, community resilience and broader environmental impacts. In terms of the work that is underway, it is not yet ready and the government is not in a position to legislate a requirement for that to be put in place. But the government will be pleased to provide an update to Ms Lee and to the community more broadly when that work is more developed.

I do think that placing emphasis on this one consideration of cost per tonne abatement in the ACT is unnecessarily limiting. We will, however, continue to progress our work on better understanding and estimating the cost of abatement options.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (11.56): As Minister Rattenbury has outlined, and this is a principle the Labor Party supports as well, we acknowledge calculating the cost per tonne of greenhouse gas emission reduction activities is an important tool in assessing potential climate action policies but it is only one of a number of tools in considering the effectiveness of government actions.

We believe legislating the requirement to report this measure is not a practical use of resources. Particularly, this approach is not an effective means of assessing the benefits of adaption measures which are crucial to enhancing the resilience of Canberra’s built and natural environment in the face of a change in climate. These sorts of outcomes do not necessarily have an emission reduction benefit but clearly have other benefits.

The government undertakes a holistic approach for undertaking climate action and decision making including consideration, obviously, of financial implications. But we also need to reflect the ACT’s wellbeing framework and we need to consider aspects such as health, safety and living standards. So a broader approach is necessary. I do not reject outright clearly and as Treasurer I have a particular focus on the costs and the best pathways forward but it cannot be the only thing that we assess or report on.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (11.57), in reply: Whilst it is heartening to hear Mr Rattenbury and Mr Barr say it is an important measure it actually confuses me even more that they are not supportive of this. I understand that both ministers have stated that it is not the only measure and nor have I ever pretended it to be. So I would not have thought that it would be a stretch of the imagination to ensure it is included, given both ministers have stated that it is important and Mr Rattenbury himself has undertaken to keep me advised of the progress in this regard. So that has been incredibly disappointing. I just want to put on the record that it was never the intention that it is the only measure, that is
a misconception.

Question put:

That amendment No 1 be agreed to.

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